the creativity burst
Some people are inspired to great works of creative genius by nature, literature or art. I think all those things are inspirational, don't get me wrong. Sadly, what seems to spur me on to my most creative moments is boredom. Yes, boredom. I have to be just on the edge of completely losing it. Whenever my grandmother (now 91 and still sharp about these issues!) would find me at this point, complaining of being bored, she'd suggest that I go bang my head against the wall and yell "Bravo! Bravo!" Needless to say, from early on, I found out that my family didn't have patience for the word bored. I learned to keep myself busy and not to say THAT WORD.
When I've gone through busy periods, stress or lots of non-stimulating work, I lose all energy for creative stuff. It just doesn't flow. I also find that even when I have plenty of time to think up articles or designs or fiction, sometimes the muse just doesn't come by. Instead, I do laundry, take walks,spin yarn for sale, garden (when there's no drought) or write to deadlines without (gasp!) the muse. 'Cause, when you're paid to write for a deadline, you write anyway.
Lately I've been cranking out "how-to" project sections for my book. These photos are hints! (guess away in the coments!) Due to the professor's early morning wake up schedule, I've been writing my drafts by 10 AM. Then, I have the rest of the day to fill, but I'm loopy or useless from 2-3 hours of solid writing and the 5:30 AM wake-up.
Since the knitting needles are busy with someone else's pattern, I cooked. On Tuesday night, I made ricotta basil gnocchi with a fresh vegetable sauce. Let me describe that: I adapted a Cooks Illustrated Magazine recipe for ricotta gnocchi. I'd refer to the recipe, but I changed it. For instance, when they said: 2 slices of white sandwich bread made into toasted bread crumbs(which doesn't exist in my "from scratch" whole wheat household just now) I substituted matzo meal, leftover from Passover. It worked well! I used the food processor and didn't do the blending by hand. It worked well...(maybe I've got the Italian Jewish thing going on? I'd be honored to walk in the footprints of Primo Levi..)
Then, I sauteed onions and garlic in a lot of olive oil, threw in chopped red peppers, tomatoes, basil, a tablespoon of capers and a bunch of marinated artichoke hearts into a fresh sauce. No recipe for that. I used my common sense and shut off the burner after I cooked the onions and garlic. I combined the gnocchi and sauce, served it with salad, this fabulous NY state wine, and a leftover peach nut shortbread tart that I'd made up a couple of days before. We invited our favorite Norwegian Bachelor Biologist (not farmer) friend over. We swooned. It was that good.
Creativity oozes out when you least expect it!
PS: As a complete downer, check out this scary news happening in my neck of the woods. Owensboro is only an hour away from where I live. (I'm avoiding any words that might draw attention to these bad and intolerant folks in my blog.) Read the article, it's short...Having these people "watching over my neighborhood as I sleep" scares the poop --and the creativity--right out of me.